HomeZ OLD CATEGORIESArsenal (NN)Alex Song | Defensive midfielder? | Opta Stats

Alex Song | Defensive midfielder? | Opta Stats

Alexandre Dimitri Song Billong. A player who, a couple of years ago, was seen as little more than dead wood in the Arsenal squad. However, a few years and a hat full of outstanding performances later, Song stands as a testament of Wenger’s policy of faith in youth. But why is the Alex Song of today so different to earlier seasons?

The main evaluation of Song’s season thus far is that he is no longer a true defensive midfielder, but more a deep-lying playmaker. The stats show this transition in team role, with his three main measurements of defensive contribution taking a gradual decrease this season as his main creative stats take a remarkable increase.

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With an average of 2.8 tackles per game and 2.1 interceptions per game, Alex Song still maintains a respectable rate in comparison to the divisions other defensive midfielders. However, it is still a long way off the likes of Lucas and Parker, who chalk up averages in excess of 4 tackles per game and only marginally better than the clubs other deep-lying midfielder- Arteta- who averages 2.5 tackles and 1.9 interceptions respectively.

The fact that Arteta has spent the majority of the season as Song’s midfield partner has been one a factor in his change in role. Whereas with Jack Wilshere as his midfield partner Song had to sit back and guard the back four more as Wilshere contributed to Arsenal’s forward play, his new midfield partner plays the majority of his game much deeper, shouldering a good chunk of the defensive responsibility as Song probes the opposition defence with penetrative passes.

More on Page 2: Through ball comparison with Mata, Modric, Fabregas…

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